29 September 2014

Picture Retake Day

Reminder:  Picture retake day will be on Wednesday, October 1st.

26 September 2014

Ants, Butterflies & Spiders

This week our classes have been learning about ants, butterflies or spiders.  Our goal in our "buggy" study is to introduce students to the process of research and how to gain information from non fiction books and other sources.  We began our study  by first talking about and writing on a chart all the things we all ready know about the bug.  Then we thought of questions that we wanted to research.

After that we read non fiction books and fiction books about ants, butterflies, and spiders, we observed live ants, butterflies and spiders in our classrooms, we observed bugs outside on our school grounds and looked on the internet to see other kinds of bugs in action.  Next week we will continue our study and put our questions and answers into our own fact book.  Ask your child their favorite fact they learned about the bug they studied in their class.  You may want to observe ants, butterflies or spiders and do more research with your child at home.

We worked on the handwriting of the letters d and g this week.  Please, please continue to work on handwriting of your child's name and the letters t, h, a, d, and g.  Handwriting practice in addition to the handwriting homework should be completed to help improve this skill.  Again, an adult should be with your child watching for correct formation during the handwriting practice.  We also focused on sounds of the letters m, f, n, s, p, z, a, t, b, v, e, d, j and l.

Phonemic awareness practice is also part of our daily routine.  We have been working on clapping and identifying the number of syllables in words, identifying rhyming words and identifying beginning sounds of spoken words.

24 September 2014

Wetlands Field Trip

 We had a wonderful time on our first field trip of the year. A huge THANK YOU to all the great moms and dads who were able to help out and make the experience so successful. We expanded our class discussions of things we find outside and reminded the students how we use our five senses to learn about the world around us. Our students were able to engage in many different activities at the park:
  • We examined pond water looking for live critters!  We found some tiny tadpoles and insects in the water.  We talked about if we would want to drink the water from the pond or not.  There was lots of moss, grass and dirt in the water.  While at the pond we observed many ducks.  They were swimming in the water and looking for bugs to eat on the shore.  We also saw lots of colorful dragonflies.
  • We also used binoculars to look at the mountains and to find birds flying in the sky.  It was fun being able to to see things that were far away up close.
  • At the park there were many different kinds of trees.  We compared the types of leaves and needles we saw on each of the trees.  We talked about what it would feel like to be a tree and stretch our "branches" up to the sky.  We also felt the bark on the trees and discussed how it protects the tree.
  • It was fun walking on the boardwalk and looking at the wetlands area.  We were able to watch carefully and see spiders in their webs, water skippers on the water, tiny fish swimming, and lots of different types of grasses.  We even used our sense of hearing to listen to a bunch of croaking frogs.  
  • We tallied the different types of animals we were able to see while at the park.  We didn't see any reptiles but we did see lots of insects and birds.
  • We even used our sense of taste to eat a gummy treat at the end of the day.  We loved our field trip!

22 September 2014

In Our Backyard

We had another great week in kindergarten.

In focusing on the importance of reading we had discussions about what readers do and why we read.  We made a list of "reading behaviors" such as sharing a favorite book with a friend, looking at the pictures and words, talking about books after reading and expressing an opinion about the book and reading books to get information and learn things.   Students are coming to understand the importance of reading and how it can have a positive impact on their lives.  They have already learned how much their teachers and even our principal LOVE reading all kinds of books.  Continue to be an example at home and point out to your child all the times you read and the different types of print materials you read.

We have been learning about our five senses and how they help us learn about the world around us.  Ask your child to tell you his/her five senses.  In addition to our five senses we have been reading about and exploring things we can see in our backyard, the park, the canyon and the mountains.  We read the book Right Outside My Window by Mary Ann Hoberman and then went outside to observe all the things we could see outside.

After we looked at the grass, trees, flowers, mountains, birds, sky and sun we illustrated and labeled some of the things we observed.  We also put this information on class and individual five senses charts.  Our students are already beginning to show their knowledge of how print carries meaning as well as some beginning phonics as students were encouraged to write at least a beginning sound to match their illustration.

21 September 2014

Bicentennial Park Field Trip

Upcoming Event:  Don't forget about our first field trip coming up on Tuesday, September 23rd.  We will be going to the Bicentennial Park in Provo.  Remember that we will be doing activities outside during the entire day so dress your child appropriately.  Students will attend their regular sessions and it is important that your child arrive on time to class in order to join us on the bus.  Thank you to those parents who will be going with us on the field trip.  Please meet in your child's classroom so we are aware of who is attending and to explain the activities you will be helping the children complete.

Shoe Box Libraries

Our shoe box libraries are getting completed and should arrive (or have already arrived) home.  When you see a decorated box with a "My Library" label on it this is your child's shoe box library.  These boxes should become very special to your child as they are a source of literacy materials they can access throughout the year.  You may want to put any type of literacy items in the box to help your child improve his/her writing and reading skills.  Some items may include:  small books (watch for a few of these mini books to come home throughout the year), paper, pencil, alphabet cards, sight word cards, word family lists, mini books your child has created, etc.  Encourage your child to keep the box in a special place and return to it often to read and write!

Thanks for working with your children at home by reading to/with your child and practicing their handwriting of their name.  A few students still need to work on memorizing their phone numbers.  Look for the mid month core card update this week.  Those items not checked indicate that your child still needs to work on those skills to pass them off before the end of the month.

Homework:  When handwriting pages come back home with a stamp, sticker, or written note on them be aware that the completion of those pages have been viewed and recorded as completed by your child's teacher and are for you to keep at home.  Thanks so much for helping your child completing the handwriting homework.  Remember it is important to sit with your child and correct any formation errors as soon as they occur.

We are having a great time working with all of our students and we are so proud of the great progress they have made in such a short time.

12 September 2014

Our Five Senses

We had another great week in kindergarten.  This week we worked on handwriting of the letter h and sounds of the letters n, p, s, z, a, t, and k.  We also practiced reading sight words I, can, the and see in isolation and in big books.

We have been learning about our five senses and how they help us learn about the world around us.  Ask your child to tell you his/her five senses.  Students also learned that different things are made up of parts such as our bodies.  Each of our senses is associated with a specific part of our body.

In addition to our five senses we have been reading about the outdoors and exploring things we can see in our backyard, the park, the canyon and the mountains.  We applied our knowledge of our five senses to help us learn more about our world around us by observing the outdoors.

We created a graph by sharing our opinion and answering the question, "Would you hold you a bug in your hand?"  Students learned about real graphs and picture graphs and then recorded the information we gathered on a recording sheet with a bar graph.  This graphing activity helped us practice counting with one to one correspondence, determining more/less/equal, and recognizing numerals.

Continue working on identifying capital and lower case letters, all letter sounds, rhyming words, listening for beginning sounds, number identification 0-5 and counting 0-20.  Review with your child spatial relation words such as above/below, near/far, top/middle/bottom, and in/out.